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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

EXPLAINED: How to maximise your annual leave in Austria in 2022

It's time to start planning your 2022 holiday year before your colleagues snap up all the most coveted days. Here are our tips for making the most of your annual leave in Austria.

Hammock by cabin
Plan your time off right this year using our tips. Photo: Carla Fuller/Unsplash

Austria can already boast some of the most generous annual leave worldwide, with 25 days’ minimum for full-time employees and an additional 13 public holidays. 

As in many European countries, but unlike the UK for example, most Austrian holidays are tied to specific dates rather than weekdays. If they happen to fall on a weekend, you do not got a day off in lieu.

That means that 2022 actually only offers ten weekday public holidays, while two of the three ‘de facto’ public holidays (which employers are not obliged to give as days off, but many do) also fall on weekends, so most employees will get 11 days off work in addition to their annual leave.

In 2021, just nine of the 13 public holidays fell on weekdays, but by contrast all three of the ‘de facto’ public holidays did, meaning that most people with employment in Austria got 12 days off this year.

Some savvy annual leave planning can help you maximise your days however, for example by taking advantage of five possible four-day weekends throughout the year, which only require one day of annual leave each.

It’s worthwhile thinking about this early in the year, because forward planning is almost a national sport in Austria, so you don’t want your colleagues to snag all of the best days off before you.

January

Saturday, January 1st (New Year’s Day)

The public holiday year of 2022 doesn’t get off to a great start, with the first holiday lost to the weekend. A large number of employers offer December 31st as a day off, though they’re not obliged to, so maybe you’ll enjoy a three-day weekend at least.

Thursday, January 6th (Epiphany)

Your first chance at a long weekend comes in the first week of the year, with a four-day weekend if you take Friday the 7th off work. Schools in Austria have this Friday off in 2022, extending the Christmas break until January 10th to make things easier with Covid-19 testing rules.

April

Monday, April 18th (Easter Monday)

Good Friday (Friday, April 15th in 2022) isn’t a public holiday in Austria, but many employers still give their workers the day off without needing to use annual leave. If that applies to you, you can book time off from April 11th to get ten days off in a row with four requested annual leave days.

May

Sunday, May 1st (Labour Day)

Another holiday is lost to the weekend…

Thursday, May 26th (Ascension Day)

…but later in the month you can take Friday, 27th off to get a four-day weekend.

June

Monday, June 6th (Pentecost)

Great news, it’s a three-day weekend. 

Thursday, June 16th (Corpus Christi Day)

Another Thursday public holiday gives the chance to take a ‘bridge day’ and get a second June long weekend.

If you take off May 27th and May 30th-June 3rd, you can get a 12-day holiday for the price of six annual leave days, or if you take off the time between the two June bank holidays (June 7th-10th and 13th-15th), plus Friday 17th, you can get a string of 16 days off for the price of eight days’ annual leave. For people who don’t have to plan around school holidays, this could be an excellent time to plan your main summer break.

More on working in Austria from The Local:

August

Monday, August 15th (Assumption Day)

Another three-day weekend here.

October

Wednesday, October 26th (National Day)

November

Tuesday, November 1st (All Saints Day)

Another chance for a bridge day on the Monday.

December

Thursday, December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

Another bridge day opportunity.

Sunday, December 25th (Christmas)

Monday, December 26th (Boxing Day)

In 2022, December 26th gives you one day off, but the other public holidays (December 25th and January 1st, 2023) as well as December 24th and 31st which are not official public holidays but are given by many employers, all fall on the weekend. This means that if you want time off over the holiday, you need to save some of your annual leave to make up for this.

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

It’s always good to know your legal rights when living as a foreigner in Austria - including if you get in trouble with the police.

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Getting arrested is probably not high up on a list of must-dos for international residents in Austria, but it’s not a bad idea to know what would happen if you did.

In a nutshell, the process in Austria is similar to most other countries in that you have to be suspected of committing a crime to be arrested.

But what happens next? What are your rights? And how long can someone be held in custody?

Here’s what you need to know.

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When can someone be arrested in Austria?

If someone is suspected of being a criminal, they can be arrested by the police and taken to a police station for questioning. 

Under the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure, suspects must be informed of their rights as soon as possible, or at the very least before being interrogated by the police.

They also have a right to remain silent or to make a statement, as well as consult a lawyer.

According to Vienna-based attorney Evert Vastenburg, the initial detainment after arrest can last up to 48 hours while a judge decides whether a person should remain in custody or not.

A suspect can then be released on bail or under certain conditions, such as handing over a passport to police.

However, those suspected of serious crimes that typically lead to a prison sentence of 10 years or more (if found guilty) are almost always remanded in custody.

READ MORE: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

When is someone remanded in custody?

To be refused bail and remanded in custody, there must be serious suspicion that another crime could be committed. 

The judge also must believe there is no other way to deal with the suspect. For example, he/she needs to be readily available to the authorities for questioning.

Another valid reason to keep someone in custody past the initial 48 hours is the risk of someone absconding. In fact, Vastenburg says a flight risk is often assumed with people that do not live and work in Austria.

Other reasons to deny a suspect release are a risk that evidence will be destroyed, witnesses will be contacted, or there is a possibility that further crimes will be committed.

What happens if bail is denied?

If bail is denied and a person must be held in custody for more than 48 hours, they have to be legally represented by a lawyer.

If a suspect can’t afford to hire a lawyer, they will be appointed a Verfahrenshilfe (public defender) by the state.

The case will be then reviewed by a judge on a regular basis to decide if custody should continue.

The first review will take place after 14 days, then at one month and every two months, but a suspect can petition for release at any time.

READ ALSO: Six tourist scams to be aware of in Austria

How many foreigners are in Austrian prisons?

According to data from the Austrian Judiciary, the number of foreigners in Austrian jails as of June 1st 2022 was 4,332 – almost 50 percent of all prisoners.

In relation to the statistics, the Austrian Judiciary states: “The high proportion of foreigners is one of many challenges for the Austrian penal system. 

“In particular, with regard to successful rehabilitation, the fastest possible transfer to the countries of origin is encouraged.

The most common nationality of foreign prisoners in Austria is Romanian, followed by people from the former Yugoslavian states, Hungary, Nigeria and Turkey.

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